Yeah, right, so I have a blog now. I have been thinking about starting one for quite a while, but I was reluctant, thinking my blogging activities would eventually degrade into maintaining some Japanese cyber pet, or better known as Tamagotchi, where I have to remember to upkeep my blog; otherwise, my blog will just, like, die.
That said, however, I am not going to deceive myself into thinking that if I start a blog, my blog will be well read and loved by the thousands. I am just hoping for a non-embarassing readership count.
“No one cares about your blog,” so says the tag line on T-shirts, mugs, pens, and mouse pads that you can buy online. I think this tag line a valid reality check. You can blog your entire life or try to discuss about every topic under the sky, but the outcome is most possibly: “Who cares?”. Really, who cares about what you ate for breakfast this morning, or what you did at last night’s reunion dinner with your buddies.
Blogs that succeed are those has something useful information to offer. So, a blog that, say, talks about nothing else but food may draw in the crowd because readers find the reviews about the various restaurants, food, and prices useful. Or maybe not, since such food blogs are a dime a dozen nowadays.
Perhaps consider Dr James Hansen, a climatologist, who could easily pull in the readers with his blog. He is a world renown scientist, so people are interested in his thoughts and experience on climate change issues, as well as his fight against skeptics (even those in his own organization, NASA) on anthropogenic climate change.
And, of course, there is always the blog by Malaysia’s former prime minister, Tun Dr Mahathir, who is able to pull in potentially 50,000 readers per day. I suspect many people see Tun Dr Mahathir as absolutely brilliant at one moment with his think-out-of-the-box opinions and brave, biting remarks, but in another moment, making absolutely ridiculous remarks – and that recipe makes his blog interesting.
So, it is important to have the proper perspective and expectation on my blog. Should I then treat my blog like therapy, a sort of talking to myself, about letting off my rants and raves? But what I really want is a blog that states my opinions on science and agriculture topics. That is, after all, what defines me and what I do. And no, I would not go down the road of having a food blog – heaven forbid. Perhaps even my students may read my blog and gain a better insight about their taskmaster.
As for getting a blog, I wanted a free one that I could host from my website rather than hosted elsewhere (such as Blogger). I wanted my blog’s URL to read something like: “christopherteh.com/blog” (or even “blog.christopherteh.com”) rather than “christopherteh.blogspot.com”. I knew from reading that going solo (that is, setting up a blog on your own) can be quite daunting. For example, Moveable Type, one of the more popular blogs, required me to wade through tons of cryptic documentation of how to install, use, and customize the blog. Goodness gracious me, I probably need a six-month sabbatical leave just to install the darn thing! Ok, I exaggerate, but I do not have the patience or motivation for all this. Really, must installing a blog be so rocket science?
Then, by accident, while I was mucking about with my website’s CPanel, I discovered that my web host (bless you) already provides a WordPress script (bless you too), complete with automagic installation! Installation was a three-step process: just filling in basic information about my blog and where I want to store my blog files, and walla, within five minutes, a working template of my blog was born. Customizing my blog is also easy. So what you see here is essentially less than a day’s worth of work.
And with that, folks, I now begin my blog…